Phenomenology of fear
Fear is a spiritual phenomenon, which almost every person can observe in himself almost every day. Nevertheless, it is not at all simple to clarify conceptually what is fear in its essence. As in all psychic phenomena, the difficulty lies in the fact that these phenomena can not be understood by the five senses. Mental phenomena can not be made available for these sensory organs with the help of certain devices (for example, a microscope, an X-ray machine, a radar, a computer, etc.).
In order to abstract the mental phenomena and at the same time visually and understandably be able to include them in conceptual schemes, we are forced to constantly resort to certain conclusions by analogy. Although we have for the establishment of mental phenomena known by the lived experience, namely emotions. But these emotions at the current level of human development (for the present?) Are not so connected with thought processes as perception of sense organs. It remains to be determined whether such a state of affairs is due to cultural prejudices or whether it explains the characteristics of the very intrapsychic apparatus.
Whenever it comes to an objective statement or proof in place of subjective experiences, in fact, we mean checking the relevant subject of discussion with the help of five senses. Observations, the establishment of facts, judgments and semantic connections in the creation of which emotions participate, are still not considered evidence or verifiable.
With the example of fear, however, it would be quite possible to prove that emotions possess the quality of the statement, as reliable as when perceived by the senses, which, however, are easily susceptible to deception and illusions. Illusions arise even when using objective tools, such as a microscope, etc.
People began to think about fear, hardly thinking about the universe. What a chilling secret is in the starry sky? Why is it so magnificent and formidable? Why are we imploring a fire-breathing volcano? Is it possible to propitiate almighty spirits?
Later, looking at himself, the person sought to unravel his own delusions. What invincible force has chained me to the ground when the enemies appeared? Why does horror make the heart tremble? Why is there a strange, inexorable temptation that makes you look at the face of horror?
It was said: there is no beauty in the desert, beauty in the heart of the Bedouin. To the same extent, in the grandiose universal drama, in its explosions and prominences, in the extinction of the stars and cosmic compression there is no horror. Fear lives only in the soul of a sinful, feeling, rejected and mortal man. This he commensurates the innumerable discoveries of being with his own fate. He applies human measures to everything around him and is horrified by the soullessness of the universe.
Man - a grain of the universe. It is surrounded by formidable natural elements. The sky sends to the earth of a comet. The bowels of the earth erupt with a fiery lava. Man constantly experiences betrayal of the earthly firmament. However, the source of suffering, as one might suppose, is not at all a game of natural displacements. He is only in the thought of them. A moment of insight gives rise to numbness.
But after all, other earthly creatures are not deaf to mortal anguish. Exhausted by an unclear instinctive impulse, the whales are thrown ashore. It seems that the hour of death is, apparently, any living thing. Is it not an exaggeration that a person is elevated to the rank of a universal being? Perhaps, fear is rooted in all living matter?
But is it legitimate to call fear a deep, inscrutable motivation of a person? Is it possible that, by overcoming it, does the person unconsciously rush to him? What are the secrets of human existence in this case? People do not try to drive away the experience of fear. On the contrary, they want to fully understand it.
In patriarchal, pagan cultures, there were special cults of fear. The ancient mysteries offered participants to experience the horror of the symbolic events of the past. So why did people want to go through again what has irretrievably gone? According to F. Nietzsche, the ancient Greek especially attracted "the monstrous horror that embraces man". The man of ancient culture knew perfectly well about such emotional states of ecstatic delight, when fear was experienced as intoxication.
Responsible for this, according to Nietzsche, the Dionysian principle (rising to the god Dionysus) in man. The fear of the ancient man was metaphysical, and not arising because of the real momentary danger. The Greek knew and felt the fear and horrors of existence: in order to be able to live, he had to shield himself from the brilliant creation of dreams - the Olympians. Extraordinary distrust of the titanic forces of nature, ruthlessly reigning over all the known Moira. The kite of the great friend of the people - Prometheus, the terrifying fate of the wise Oedipus, the curse that gravitates over the genus of Atreides and forced Orestes to murder the mother - in short, all this philosophy of the forest god with all its mythical examples, from which the melancholic Etruscans died - was overcome by the Greeks through the mediation of the Olympic Olympiad between the Olympians, or in any case was concealed behind them and hid from the eyes. "
According to Nietzsche, the primitive order established by the gods of horror - the Titans, through the beginning of beauty was transformed into the Olympic order of the gods of harmony and joy. Horror and chaos were protected by harmony. Apollo defeated Typhon, and Pegasus defeated Chimera. However, the gods of horror, thrown into the abyss of Tartarus, are alive, for they are immortal. And these abysses are in the soul of a man who appears as a catastrophic being, shaken by unseen passions and desires.
Everything in it is mixed. The person in the interpretation of Nietzsche appeared as an extremely contradictory being. If we could imagine the humanisation of dissonance - and what else is man? - then such a dissonance for the possibility of living would require some kind of marvelous illusion, throwing before him the veil of beauty on his own being. " The secret craving for fear did not dissolve in archaic cultures. It is clearly revealed in Christianity. It is no accident, apparently, the concept of the Fall brought to life numerous versions of historical descriptions and world-historical perspectives - from the "City of God" Augustine Blessed to the works of modern theologians.
Christianity seeks to awaken people's fear of their own transgressions, placing a special emphasis on repentance. The Christian is literally hypnotized by the horrors of hell, the omnipotence of demonic forces and eschatological perspectives. Paradise bliss takes meaning only against the background of hell torment.
Yes, and many modern thinkers, scientists, writers have a craving for eschatological themes, the motives for the universal catastrophe and the death of mankind. What kind of quirk? What unnatural need gives rise to such an all-pervading attraction? A person is able to cultivate fear in himself, experience such a state when there is no real reason for unconsciousness. Fear as a fantasy, as an ordinary state of the soul - is, strictly speaking, something unnatural.
Psychology of fear is the inevitable companion of Western civilization. Max Scheler remarked: "In history there has not yet appeared such a great psychoanalyst that would free a person from this deadly horror, not from a mythological fall and guilt, but from that constitutive fear that is the emotionally impulsive basis of this specifically Judeo-Christian world ideas .
It turns out that fear is a person's life inheritance, the burden of his freedom. But why then do we call this feeling a passion? After all, many sages of the past and modern scholars (referring at least to the book of the Italian A. Moceo "Fear", published in Poltava in 1887) believed that fear is a disease that must be treated. For a long time such a person's state was studied by psychologists who interpreted fear as a negative emotion, revealing itself in the event of a real or imaginary danger.
Pliny the Elder (123 or 24 -79) in the "Natural History" he told how twenty of the gladiators could hardly find two who would not blink at the threatening gesture. The historian sneers: wow brave ...
Fear paralyzes the will. The hero was considered to be one who is able to overcome by himself an inner strength of a sense of horror. Fear was represented in the form of a demon or deity, for the propitiation of which sacrifices were made. So, going to the battle, Alexander the Great sacrificed himself to the demon of fear. In the Turin Museum, today you can see Roman medals, one of which is a woman in a state of horror, and on the other a man embroiled in fear. They were cast by consuls in support of vows, data to propitiate fear.
Later this phenomenon was attempted to explain by studying human physiology. The first such book belongs to the French philosopher Rene Descartes. Claiming that the ancient philosophy of Aristotle did not solve a single question connected with the comprehension of human nature, Descartes proceeded to physiological study of the soul. He believed that fear has purely physical causes, and therefore searched the brain for traces of impressions from what he had experienced.
Romantics of the XVIII-XIX centuries. attracted attention to the shadow side of the soul, its sinister discoveries. The whole epoch gravitated toward the mournful, torturous, satanic images, called to open to the person forbidden zones of fear. A special sweetness was shown by the God-struggling motives. We read from Milton:
Did I ask you, creator, to create me from the dust as a man? Out of the darkness, did I ask me to Extract?
Satan, Lucifer, the rebel demonstrated not only the defilement of inhuman fabrications, but also the readiness of a direct encounter with horror. Romanticization of fear was a remarkable feature of this consciousness. It sought to grasp the subtlest shades of this experience, which acquired the most bizarre forms, giving rise to phantasmagoric images of fear.
Are these traditions lost? By no means. Literature of the last centuries - gothic novels, detectives, thrillers, and horror films no longer simply satisfy human curiosity, inquisitiveness in the recognition of nightmares. They literally serve the imagination of a man, overcome by the passion to see, touch, experience the terrible. The mass culture of our days is inconceivable without the plot of criminal murders, pursuit and retribution, reprisals and necrophilic inclinations. Is not this a passion?
Finally, an incredible attraction acquired in modern culture, eschatological motifs, themes of the universal catastrophe and the death of mankind. We read in Thomas Mann: "There really is an apocalyptic culture that, to a certain extent, devotes the frenzied to unquestionable factors and events, although this suggests a strange psychological phenomenon, consisting in the recurrence of the influx of the past, in the non-self-sufficiency, the borrowedness, the pattern of frenzies."
Humanity with all the passion is betrayed by fear. What is this quirk? What is the need for this all-pervading attraction? Finally, what is the freedom of man, if through it nothing comes into the world? This last question belongs to J.-P. Sartre. Horror is often caused by concrete causes: we are afraid of death, ruin, betrayal, attack. All this causes a confusion of spirit. The hostility factor, as they say, is obvious. There is another type of fear, when there is really no danger, but the person is still in utter confusion. This is a man's fear of himself.
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